The Schnell Brick Yard
The brick yard owned and operated by the Schnell brothers was opened ca. 1890 and had three sheds. They first learned the brick business by working in Weimer’s and later Dominick’s brick yard, located only a half a mile away. Eventually the Schnell yard was taken over by John Schnell, Julia’s husband, and his brother Charles. (It was located at the present sit of the trailer park on Highway 33, on the right side going East.)
As a boy, John Mader can remember kids in the neighborhood working at the brick yard for 17 cents a day which was the going rate at that time. John didn’t know then that the Mader family had been in the brick business.
Andy North recalled working for John, Charlie, and old Schnell. He stayed up nights firing the kilns to keep the brick at a certain temperature. “Those old timers were sharp!” Andy said, “If you missed a firing, John knew it in the morning by the feel of the brick. They really knew their business. Boy, you kept up with the machinery or you got so far behind!”
“Dad and Grandfather worked till they were real old because they were the only ones who knew the mixture of the clay – no one else could do it. The consistency of the mud had to be just firm enough and the firing of the kilns at just the right temperature or the brick would crack.”
The brothers John and Charlie stopped making brick during World War II. There was no building going on and all the young men were off to war so they could not get help.